This year’s program at Sutherland High School was no exception. Our American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary are very active in our community, and each year they sponsor young men and women to Cornhusker Boys and Girls State, and also the Junior Law Academy. They also sponsor the Voice of Democracy speech contest. All of these young people have the chance at the annual Veterans Day program to tell of their experiences and recite their speeches.
The president of Sutherland’s Student Council was also our representative at Girls State this year. She applied because of her love of politics, and she was elected as a Senator in the Girls State Legislature, and also had the opportunity to volunteer at the Child Advocacy Center for community service. As a member of the Legislature, she discussed wind energy and water rights, both important topics in Nebraska, and learned the power of compromise and the benefits of listening to different points of view.
The first representative to Boys State spoke about his involvement in Athletics (his Sand Volleyball team was champion!), and his time also serving as a Senator in the Boys State Legislature. His experiences led him to apply to be a junior counselor next year. He presented a top ten list of experiences at Boys State:
- Don’t lose elevator privileges (he housed on the 10th floor)
- 50 strangers can become best friend
- It’s a great feeling to be undefeated
- 6am wake up calls are no fun
- Avoid the spinning wheel of death (?)
- Asking strangers to vote for your candidate can generate strange looks
- Being elected to the legislature means you miss 25% of the speakers including Tom Osborne
- Vote for your towns candidates
- A three hour car ride to Lincoln takes six hours in a bus
- Your hometown is the best
The young lady who attended the Junior Law Cadet program was daunted by the thought of daily calisthenics, but soon learned to get over her shyness and make new friends. The program stresses the importance of teamwork, compromise and cooperation. They were required to keep their rooms spotless, right down to the hospital corners on the beds. She faced her fears, including firing a weapon for the first time, and enjoyed learning to drive a patrol car.
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the Armistice ending World War I, The War to End All Wars was signed. That day was named Armistice Day in honor of our WWI veterans. In 1954, the scope was broadened to include all Veterans, and in the first Veterans Day proclamation by president Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954, he said that it is to …Honor all veterans who served on the seas, in the air and on foreign shores… so that their effort may not have been in vain.
SSgt. Mayberry has served in many areas throughout the world that are not as developed as America. The worst areas that America has is better than their best areas. They yearn for the freedom and democracy that we have.